Adam Lambert – Ghost Town
Here in the UK, Lambert is mostly known as “that guy from American Idol who sings with Queen”. He’s yet to have a fully-fledged solo hit, but with this Max Martin-penned track that’s set to change.
At first listen this isn’t what you’d expect. It’s EDM. It’s EDM by numbers. It’s EDM by numbers that limits Lambert’s considerable vocal range.
Yet after a few listens it all clicks into place. The sombre, guitar-led verses make way for a sticky, syncopated bassline and Morricone-esque whistle hook, before launching into a brilliantly euphoric middle eight. It might be unexpected, but this is the banger that Lambert deserves.
N.B Not to be confused with Madonna’s Ghosttown. Lambert > Madonna
Listen: Ghost Town is available across the world. Except in the UK, where it’s released on the 7th June just before forthcoming album ‘The Original High’. Because of course.
Rihanna – American Oxygen
Rihanna has somewhat shot herself in the foot by releasing hit after hit over her career. She’ll never release another We Found Love so let’s just get over that shall we? It’s no wonder, then, that she’s experimenting with her sound for #R8 far more than in the past. Yes it’s been a mixed bag – a glorified demo and an acoustic snore-fest - but it’s also resulted in this track.
With American Oxygen, Rihanna is far less concerned with hooks and beats. This is Rihanna making a political statement with her music. This is Rihanna making a video that actually compliments the music beyond rave lights and a new 'do. This is Rihanna living up to her iconic status.
This is also Rihanna seemingly becoming a female Kanye West. Whether that’s a good thing is up to you.
Listen: American Oxygen is available now.
Giorgio Moroder – Déjà vu (feat Sia)
Impassioned vocal from everyone’s favourite faceless singer-songwriter? Check.
Feelgood, electrifyingly joyful track that’s perfectly timed for the summer? Absolutely.
Listen: Déjà vu is available now.
Ty Dollar $ign – Drop That Kitty feat. Charli XCX and Tinashe
This is kind of terrible. Ty’s rap is nothing to write home about. The “drop that kitty” conceit is slightly gross. And the cat gif video is just bizarre.
Yet if you’re going to release a pop R&B banger, then you may as well collaborate with two of the coolest female stars on the planet. Charli XCX brings some British punk attitude to proceedings, whilst Tinashe adds a retro 00s flavour with her sung chorus and dance routine. No doubt we’ll all be slut dropping to this for months to come.
It’s kind of terrible. But it’s also kind of amazing.
Listen: Drop That Kitty is available now.
Erik Hassle – No Words
Hassle’s previous EP was essentially an ode to Frank Ocean. This new track is essentially indebted to Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.
Neither of these statements are negative. The Swede sure as hell knows how to deliver a catchy pop track and No Words could well follow its inspiration to become one of the top tracks of summer 2015.
Listen: No Words is available now.
Janelle Monáe, Jidenna – Yoga
But she’s also so much better than this. Her music is usually far more inventive and progressive than this sub-standard R&B rubbish. Can someone tell her that girls look way sexier in suits?
Listen: Yoga is available now.
Jones – Indulge
Indulge is the title track from London-based electro-R&B singer Jones’s debut EP. It is, essentially, pure sex. A slow, languorous hand-clap beat; a seductive concoction of guitar lines and heavy synths; and a delicate vocal that flutters over the production. Once the bass kicks in for the first chorus, you’ll want to indulge in this again and again.
Listen: Indulge is available now.
Aquilo – Better Off Without You
The previous tracks from Lake District duo Aquilo have all been dark and sombre electronic affairs. Whilst beautifully evocative in their own right, for this new track they’ve gone full on Balearic. Sunny beach vibes emanate from the relaxed beat, warm synths and trumpet calls. It’s a sexy, funky twist on their sound that deserves plenty of attention.
Listen: Better Off Without You features on the duo’s forthcoming EP ‘Calling Me’ released on 31st May.
So far, Weaver has come to the fore for one song alone – Octohate. Since then, she’s failed to reach the same heights. The Fool is the title track from her forthcoming debut album – it’s cutesy pop, with a driving bass and fluttering vocal, but it doesn’t really get going until the stuttering final third. Let’s hope the rest of the album doesn’t follow that same trajectory.
Listen: The Fool features on the forthcoming album of the same name released on 7th August.
OMI – Cheerleader
Listen: Cheerleader is available now.